Recidivism of inmates in our society has placed a tremendous burden not only on the victims of the offenders, but on the economy and all citizens as well. When these male former offenders are released from prison, many of them lack the social skills, job skills or self worth to become productive citizens. The financial cost of crime extends far beyond the expense of housing an increasing number of inmates.
The need for this facility is long overdue. We have engaged in this project because it transcends being just the right thing to do-it is fed to us by love for our fellow man, even those who have lost their way. With the present prison population increasing at a rate of more than ten times that of the general population, it is quite evident that the problem not only exists, but also is compounding. Thus, the need for this facility is tremendous. The New Direction Ministry and facility is not duplicating any current available services, as there are no other facilities with this mission in the West Texas region.
The New Direction Ministry proposes to impact the previously cited statistics by decreasing the amount of inmates returning to the prison system as offenders in the West Texas region. Our facility will continue to address the ex-offender in self-worth by equipping him with the proper life skills and attitude that will enable him to function within society and the culture as a successful asset rather than a liability.
This will be accomplished by the systematic teaching of grooming skills, interaction skills and job training skills. We will also direct, guide and support the men towards community initiatives already in place that will enhance their self worth, such as GED and job training programs, college course work, and trade schools. Incorporated also in the training programs, college courses that teach boundaries and overcoming skills. They will engage in individual support meetings and build relationships within the church community.
The men will also receive support from volunteers in the community that will provide mentorship and jobs. Volunteer positions will consist of teachers with the skills listed above, tutors, reconciliation liaisons, recreation planners, mentors, employeers, counselors, professional in-kind services including doctors, dentists, and therapist, and above all, Christian leaders who will teach these men how to live in a world that may tend to reject them. Paid positions at this time consist of a full-time director, a full-time office manager, a full-time facility supervisor, and a part-time driver.
The facilty itself consists of a two (2) story building with 14 bedrooms with 2-queen size beds in each room, on-site chapel, commercial kitchen, three (3) living areas, game room, workout room, classrooms, common multipurpose room with laundry facilities. The facility is in close proximity to downtown Midland and provides easy access to the city and all it has to offer.
Our main geographical focus will be the prisons that surround our area and those men who have plans to make this area their home. Our success will be evident and measured by the number of these men who break the cycle of repeat offenders and who go on to be men who give back to the community that invested in them.